Clare's trip took her from Fontainebleau to Chamonix, then to the Gottard Pass in Switzerland and then on to Italy and Austria.
"I'm very lucky in the fact that I'm a teacher so I get very good holidays, and spend all of them away climbing." commented Clare.
We only got an hours climbing in up there [Sustenpass] before the thunder started, but was enough time to work all the moves on the Zentrale Traverse. I convinced myself that I could come back next year and be stronger and able to do it, so we left Switzerland for a few days off in Italy." Clare said.
But the traverse had stuck in her mind:
"From Italy we went into Austria, to climb in the Ziller valley, based in Mayhofen we managed to get some awesome climbing in Kaserler Alm, Ginzling Wald and Sundergrund. In the back of my mind however, was the 8a, so after 5 days climbing in Austria, we drove BACK to Switzerland. Wild Camping to avoid the huge expense of camping in Switzerland, we got an early start on the traverse. 1st go I got past the hardest crimpy bit, but with numb fingers, and no tea inside it was never going to happen. A cup of tea later, and a bit more warming up all the moves seemed to just flow into each other, and I soon found myself past the tiny crimps on the crux, and with just the lip travese and top out to go. All too soon it was done, and the most enjoyable climb I've ever done was complete. Having intended to stay in the Sustenpass for 3 or 4 days to get it done, a couple hours later we were trying to decide where to go, and what to climb next!"
A few of the harder ticks from the trip:
- Traversee basse du bloc du Superb (7B) at Le Col de Montets - Argentiere
- MR2 (7B+) at Lavancher - Secteur du Haut
Austria / Ziller Valley:
- Hart Wie Stein (7C) at Kaserler Alm
- Zentrale Traverse (7c+/8A) at Sustenpass